Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi said that “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort.” That also applies to company slogans. They require lots of thought, feedback and trial and error. And that’s not all: A good slogan needs to be implemented effectively to actually make an impact.
If you’re starting your company, make sure you get your slogan right. Here’s how to do that.
Keep It Short
A long-winded slogan is usually boring. In the rarest of cases in can be effective, but for most people the words will be easily forgotten. Unfortunately, there’s no magic length for a perfect slogan. Brevity is often best. This can be difficult, because it’s tempting to include every aspect of your company. A few clever words can make the difference between a passable slogan and a great one.
Take a look at some of the most memorable slogans, which are so famous that I don’t even need to say the brand:
- Just Do It
- I’m Lovin’ It
- Eat Fresh
- Got Milk
- Think Different
- We Try Harder
What do all of those have in common? They’re only three words or less. Something like “Creating a memorable experience that you, your family, and even your pets can enjoy” might sound nice but will never be remembered.
Make it Smart
Another way to make a memorable slogan is to make it smart. You want it so that someone who reads it thinks “wow, that was good.”
A great example of this is Tymetal Corporation. They make security gates. They could have had a slogan about how strong their gates are, how you can feel secure with them, or how they’re affordable. But slogans like that wouldn’t stick with you. Their slogan: We Close Openings. It’s brilliant, makes you smile, and is completely fitting for a gate company. Having a play on words like that can be perfect for having your slogan stick out from the crowd.
Don’t Rush It
You obviously have lots of important things to do for your company, and a slogan might be closer to the end of your to-do list. However, the slogan shouldn’t be neglected and then cranked out before deadline like a forgotten term paper. It’s best to come up with some ideas and then let them sit for a while to see what works. Ask your co-workers. Ask your friends. You might find that a few weeks later you don’t really like it.
One of my favorite slogan “fails” came from Virgin Blue’s “Chuck a Sickie.” In Australian slang, that means “Take a Sick Day.” For anyone else, such a slogan sounds both questionable and nonsensical. The budget airliner’s boss killed the slogan just 29 minutes after it launched. That has to be a record.
When I walk into a place that advertises the “best pizza in town” or the “world’s best coffee,” I know the place isn’t going to be that good. I’m not Buddy from the movie Elf. Such braggart slogans may have worked decades ago, but any effectiveness they once had has been poisoned by their overuse.
Be confident and don’t hesitate to allude to quality. Just keep the bragging down to a minimum, unless boldness is a big part of the brand. One company that coffee thing right is Death Wish Coffee, which claims to be the “World’s Strongest.”
Only Have One Slogan
When you’re set on a slogan, make sure it’s uniform across all mediums. I once worked for a company that frustratingly used different slogans on their billboards, print brochures, websites and more. This was ineffective at building up the brand, and it also presented the company as uncertain and unsure of itself.
If you feel like you need different slogans for your websites, print and so on, then maybe you need a new slogan. Create a great one and go forward confidently with your fine-tuned slogan. This isn’t the time for confusing half measures.